Jazz CD Reviews

Jacques Loussier Plays Bach – Encore! – Telarc Jazz

I find it the most enjoyable Loussier album I’ve ever heard.

Published on September 25, 2007

Jacques Loussier Plays Bach – Encore! – Telarc Jazz 2CD-83671, 1 hr. 59 min. total time **** [Release date: Oct. 23, 2007]:

(Jacques Loussier, piano/Vincent Charbonnier, doublebass/ Andre Arpino, drums/Prague Chamber Orchestra/Jean Pierre Wallez, solo violin/Guy Touvron, solo trumpet)

Loussier has been mixing the elements of jazz and classical music for over 50 years now, and this 2-for-1 package has been re-mastered from albums he did in the early 1990s in France and in Prague. The first CD is with just his trio, and it demonstrates a more thorough thinking-thru of the trio’s approach which followed some years hiatus during the late 1980s.  There is more improvisation and both rock and Caribbean influences are heard. After starting things off the trio of Bach selections with the short Little Fugue in G Minor, the trio tackles the entire Concertos in F Minor BWV 1056 and in C Minor BWV 1060, then launches into the six-movement Partita in B-flat Major BWV 825.  This disc seems to swing more and offer more variety than some of the early Loussier Bach recordings.

The second CD, recorded in Prague in 1992, features three original compositions by Loussier.  He has arranged them in the baroque style, but contemporary jazz inclusions, even to percussion in some sections. His Violin Concerto has elements of Brazil and Piazzolla, with its third movement – Tokyo – added Japanese imagery.  In the three-movement Trumpet Concerto, Loussier’s model appears to be Copland and perhaps Samuel Barber.  Both are delightful pieces, separated by the short Tableaux venitiens in the middle. It’s interesting to experience Loussier’s original swinging compositions via this reissue. I find it the most enjoyable Loussier album I’ve ever heard.

TrackList: BACH: Little Fugue in G minor; Concerto in F minor; Concerto in C minor; Partita in B-flat major BWV 825; LOUSSIER: Concerto for Violin and Percussion; Tableaux venitiens; Trumpet Concerto

- John Sunier




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